Matthew 13, 36 - 39
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, `Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.' He answered, `The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
If you were given the opportunity to ask Jesus a question, what would it be?
Looking at this text, we could easily become envious of the disciples. They heard the ‘weeds of the field’ parable, and were then able to ask Jesus, ‘What was all that about?’
In response, Jesus describes a world in which ‘children of the kingdom’ and ‘children of the evil one’ live side by side. It sounds like the storyline of a baddie-versus-goodie film.
If we are the ‘children of the kingdom,’ how should we be living?
What sort of relationship should we expect to have with the world?
Obviously, there is likely to be conflict if we stand against the people and systems that are evil and unjust. Looking at the church’s history, we can all name Christian reformers that knew such battles. We may even have our own stories.
Elsewhere in Matthew's gospel, Jesus warns his followers they should expect conflict and even persecution (eg 10:17 and 24:9).
Do you think a Christian can ever feel comfortable in this world?
Something to do
On the internet, read up on one or two of these people: William Wilberforce; Lord Shaftesbury; Elizabeth Fry; Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Martin Luther King; Mother Teresa; Bishop Tutu. In what way did their work cost them?
Something to pray
Based on the Methodist Church Covenant Service in which church members annually renew their vows to God
Lord I am no longer my own, but yours.
Your will, not mine, be done in all things,
in all that I do
and in all that I may endure;
when I am troubled
and when I am at peace;
when I am valued
and when I am rejected.
I willingly offer
All I have and am
To serve you,
As and where you choose.
Today's contributor is the Rev Frazer Hawkes, a retired Methodist minister.